Windows XP Dual Boot Entries (BOOT.ini)

Lenovo / 20157
August 9, 2014 at 04:53:13
Specs: Windows 7, Core i5 3rd Gen 2.501 Ghz / 4GB
I just made a fresh install of windows XP in my old PC than rebooted several times to install drivers and the duplicate boot entry wasnt there but when after i removed the flashdrive after completing the driver installation i rebooted and found a duplicat entry in boot menu.

Here is my BOOT.ini

[Boot Loader]
Default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS /usepmtimer
[Operating Systems]
Windows" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer

This is a problem when i will go back to hostel and my parents have no idea how to start the computer, they will end up thinking its not working.

I dont find any duplicate entry in my Boot.ini but still for varification i placed it here for you to check.

The windows installation is on C:\ and another partition is D:\ for data storage.
I also formatted the whole D:\ thinking there might me a problem in it.

The installation is done using pendrive made with Navicorp win2flash.


Why be born again when you can just grow up?

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August 9, 2014 at 13:59:19
As I read your boot.ini - it looks OK to me...

You have one entry in the Operating Systems listing. Which means there is only one copy of Windows installed - in this case Windows-XP. There being only that one entry in the list of Operating Systems, that OS is by default the one that boots up; and is shown in the Boot Loader list (the default); and its details (syntax) will be more or less the same as under the Operating Systems listing.

The actual critical syntax is:


which tells the boot loader where to find the installed OS; and this is the information following the "Default=".

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August 9, 2014 at 21:50:50
I know that Boot.ini is perfect but why bootloader does not according to it?

I have "Microsoft Windows" entry default in boot.ini but when i turn on the PC the another entry "Windows (Default)" acts like default, if i don't select any of the entry then this entry is booted up by bootloader which is actually not working.

Why and from where the bootloader is getting the duplicate entry and how its made default?
Is there anything else in windowsXP that handles the bootloader except BOOT.ini?

Why be born again when you can just grow up?

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August 10, 2014 at 04:09:05
Have to admit I don't understand quite what is happening here... However if you eidt the and set the entry for XP (as listed in the Operating Systems) as the default - what happens then?

You can edit the boot-menu as per:

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Related Solutions

August 10, 2014 at 04:57:55
I know i can edit the BOOT.ini but there is no duplicate entry in it then what should i delete or make default?

The one that boots is already default in boot.ini but the bootloader is not acting according to the boot.ini

I am going insane!!!

Why be born again when you can just grow up?

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August 10, 2014 at 05:07:19
"I am going insane!!!"
It is weird, has to be something logical.

What boot options do you have in the bios, does it give 2 choices for the hard drive?

Run CHKDSK on C & D.

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August 10, 2014 at 05:49:03
what do you mean by two choices for the HDD?

What is the point of DiskCheck?

Why be born again when you can just grow up?

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August 10, 2014 at 11:07:36
I'm getting more than a little confused by your feedback; not exactly clear if the default OS entry boots OK - or not? Or if you have to manually select the one in the Operating Systems listing...?

It would appear that the Default does boot OK; but that you are apparently (or may be) concerned that the data/text in its entry as the Default - is missing something (the text following Windows...?

If you look at the sample boot.ini in the M$ KB above - you will note that in the Default= entry - the information is truncated - it does not include the text that follows Windows - as entered in the list of Operating Systems.

Using the M$ KB boot.ini as above as an example: the content in (my) italics (copied from the M$ KB as a reference/example and duplicated below for clarity) is not included in the Default= field.

[boot loader]

[Operating Systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\Windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

The critical information is the ARC path/statement (the four items that precede \Windows in that line of text); it's that which tells the boot-loader where to look for OS set as Default in order to boot to it. And if you were manually select an OS from the list of installed Operating Systems - again that line, that ARC path tells the boot-loader where to look etc..

In your boot.ini the ARC statement says there is one hard drive; and the OS is installed in the first partition; and that's the one set to boot - by default. Which apparently it does OK?

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August 11, 2014 at 10:32:08
I already said that the one that Boots i.e "Microsoft Windows" is made default in boot.ini but actually the boot loader takes the duplicate entry as default which does not boots, in short bootloader does not acts as asked by boot.ini.

I have to select the entry which boots from the list even though its default in boot.ini as you can see at OP in boot.ini

Why be born again when you can just grow up?

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August 11, 2014 at 12:12:58
mm most konphusing to say the least...

Possibly a rebuild/repair of the boot.ini may resolve it... These are few of many hits "out there" that discuss how you do it... Worth to read them all even though there is of course much duplication...

and this Fred Langa's discussion on using bootcfg option:

JohnW queried whether or not you have tow hard drives; or at least two partitions (c: and d: ) and if per chance - I'm surmising here - you re-installed to the second drive/partition? Although it you had (re-installed to other than c: ) the boot.ini from the re-instalation would (or ought to) list itself and any other installations present at time of the re-installation.

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August 11, 2014 at 12:42:27
Boot.ini doesn't look correct to me.

You should not have /usepmtimer on the end of the default line. Switches come into play under Operating Systems.

I have see windows with a bad boot.ini do a double choice entry when the boot.ini only has one.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
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August 11, 2014 at 19:49:36

So, you mean i should remove the /usepmtimer?
I am afraid because the default is the one which does not boots so i will end up with a bad boot.ini and windows will not boot.

Also the the one made default in boot.ini boots correctly but actually its not the default when i am at select OS screen.


I have only one fresh install of windowsXP in C: and another partition D: is empty.

Why be born again when you can just grow up?

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August 12, 2014 at 08:56:53
the default line is a label saying this is the default. No switches. This tells the boot loader what to look for under operating systems. This is where the switches live that relate to the boot.

I have already explained why you see two boot choices when there is only one in the boot.ini. Though this does assume we are seeing the boot.ini from the root and not from somewhere else [or it would be invalid]

There are a number of ways of getting back into the system if it doesn't boot [which won't happen by doing the mod I am suggesting]. Don't live in fear.

You see any switches on the default line in this MS example?

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message edited by wanderer

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August 12, 2014 at 13:56:51
Either you edit your current boot.ini to reflect that model to which Wanderer and I have pointed you, or run the bootcfg routine. The latter will likely do it for you; but editing as per Wanderer's suggestion/advice will do it as easily.

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August 14, 2014 at 08:57:45
I don't know what you mean by switches but today i opened msconfig to check whats the status there and under the boot tab, i made the current OS default ( even though it was default already ) and now i no longer have the OS selection screen.

Thanks for helping though!! :)

Why be born again when you can just grow up?

message edited by manthan

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August 14, 2014 at 10:36:57
"switches" are indicated by text that follows the / sign in a given entry in the list of OS installed.

They indicate various options that have been elected for that particular version (entry) of the OS.

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